GIS APPLICATIONS IN BIODIVERSITY MONITORING
Basic knowledge on Personal Computer use, basic mathematics and analytical geometry, base concepts in Zoology, Botany and Ecology. Knowledge of English language is recommended, since the most of the technical documentation is in English.
The course is aimed at giving basic theoretical and practical knowledge for using modern digital cartography as an instrument to support planning and conservation of natural resources. Topics covered will include Geographical Information Systems theoretical framework as well as GIS application to real-world problems. Creation and use of vector data and basic raster operations will be dealt with further detail with reference to wildlife management and conservation biology.
Final oral examination. Questions will be based on the syllabus and the final score (in marks out of 30) will be based on comprehension (25%), capacity to apply theoretical concepts to real cases (25%), autonomy of judgement (15%), communication skills (15%) and learning abilities (20%).
Introduction to Digital Cartography
Geographical Information Systems, concepts and history. Analogic and digital mapmaking, origins of digital cartography and fields of application.
The cartographic process, from data to maps
Cartography as a communication instrument, differences between “analog” and “difgital” cartography, “paper based” and “computer based” mapmaking paradigms. The conceptual models of cartography: thematic cartography and general cartography.
Techniques and instruments: spatial abstraction, simplificatio, generalization, scale, coregistering, use of legends, sectioning.
Spatial representation techniques: perception of spatial information, spatial objects and cartographic objects, spatial information representation, filtering.
Cartographic paradigms: thematic maps, cartographic theme, graphic and cartographic primitives, data dimensionality, entity-attribute model, geo-relational model.
Standard data models
Raster and vector data, georeferencing, cartographic projections and coordinate reference systems. “Traditional” data sources and neogeography. The Global Positioning System. Introduction to Relational Databases.
Standard Coordinate Reference Systems
The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) system. The (old) Italian National Reference System (Gauss-Boaga), the ETRS89 Reference System, Regional Technical Maps.
Using GIS Software
Introduction to GIS Software. Most used data formats, Command Line Interface and Graphical User Interface. Introduction to Quantum GIS.
Spatial data analysis
Types of variables (nominal, ordinal, interval, rational). Digitizing. Introduction to map algebra. Topological overlay. Cost-distance modeling, species distribution modeling. Cartographic restitution and rendering. Graphics and cartographic thematization.
KIND OF ACTIVITIES
The course consists of lectures with computer laboratory practical activities. Practical laboratory activities will be targeted at the development of problem solving capacities, applying the theoretical concepts to real-world cases.
DeMers M. N. (2008) Fundamentals of Geographical Information Systems, 4th Edition. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0470129067
Slides and additional self-study materials available on the e-learning platform.